Music and sound effects are key to having a great gaming experience. Having the right pair of gaming headphones will help you enhance that experience with a good sound, a comfortable design, and a reliable microphone. This means gaming headsets are a little more specialized than typical headphones. They usually have more dedicated software support, lots of active features and customization options, as well as a better mic. However, they're also bulkier and not ideal to use outdoors and are often limited by the range of their transmitter. Furthermore, if you do not care about microphones, then most wired, critical listening headphones would be a good option.
So far, we've reviewed 246 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy in 2018. If you're looking for a pair of budget headphones, see our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $50 and the best Xbox One headsets.
The best gaming headphones are the SteelSeries Arctis 7. These headphones deliver the best value for your money for any gaming headset that we've tested so far. They're well-built and decently comfortable headphones with a lot of customization and connection options that make them versatile enough for gaming or watching movies. They have a low latency wireless connection with a dongle that has an aux input so it will work with most of the audio sources in your house and even with your TV. They also come with a proprietary audio cable that ends with a 1/8" TRS connector so you can use them casually with your phone outdoors.
Unfortunately, they are not the most console-friendly gaming headphones since they only have wireless audio and voice chat support on the PS4 and PC but not the Xbox One. They're also a bit bulkier than the HyperX Cloud Flight which are slightly better for outdoor use but have fewer customization options.
You can also get the more premium Arctis Pro + GameDac if you mostly game on PC. They have a lot more customization options and better controls at your fingertips thanks to the GameDac, however, the lack of wireless connectivity means they may not be as convenient for all gamers.
If you want a better sounding and more comfortable alternative to the SteelSeries Arctis 7, and you mostly use your gaming headphones at home, then get the Astro A50 instead. Unlike, the Arctis 7 or the HyperX Cloud Flight, they do not have an outdoor friendly design since you have to use the base station and they do not come with an audio cable or have a wired option to use with console controllers.
On the upside, thanks to their base station, they get access to more connection options than the Arctis 7 and the Logitech G933, like optical in and out as well as an aux and USB input. The base station also supports dock charging which is a bit more practical when charging your gaming headphones. If you primarily use your headphones just for gaming or need a good headset for watching movies, then the Astro A50s are a good choice.
If you mostly game on PC and have different setups for each game you play, then the Logitech G933 would be a better option. They do not have as many connection options as the Astro A50 and they also have a bulkier design that won't be as good for outdoor as the SteelSeries Arctis 7 or the HyperX Cloud Flight. However, they do have a well-made gaming design that looks better and more premium than the other Logitech G series headphones that we've tested so far.
They have programmable buttons on the back of the left earcup which allows you to switch between different profiles, EQs and LED settings. You can also map and configure these buttons to your liking via the Logitech gaming software. Overall, if you like to tweak your headset, then the G933 are a good gaming headset with a good sound quality that will cater well to all games and most of your music.
If you want a VR-like experience to fully immerse you in the game that you're playing, get the Audeze Mobius. They do not have as many customization options as the Logitech G933 or the SteelSeries Arctis 7. They also won't deliver as convenient an experience for gaming as the Astro A50.
However, the Mobius have a unique head tracking and 3D audio feature that set them apart from the competition. They're also Bluetooth 5.0 headphones that are a lot more versatile than typical gaming headset since you can also use them casually outdoors with your phone and still benefit from the unique soundstage and well-balanced sound when listening to your tracks. They're decently comfortable and fairly easy to use once you get familiar with the control scheme. They also come with a regular analog cable that will work with your console controllers. Unfortunately, their USB connection only has full support on PC for now which may be updated with a software patch at a later date.
If the SteelSeries Arctis 7 are too expensive, the best budget gaming headphones we've tested so far are the HyperX Cloud II. They do not have as many features as the Logitech G933 or the Arctis 7. They're also wired so they may not be as convenient when gaming on your couch as the wireless options on this list.
However, they more than make up for it with their affordable price to performance ratio, great build quality and comfortable, well-padded earcups. They feel sturdy and durable and come with an excellent boom mic that reproduces your voice accurately when playing multiplayer games. Also since the mic is detachable, they easily pass for casual headphones that you can use outdoors with your mobile devices.
If you want a gaming headphone and do not care much for a wireless design, then the Cloud II is the best gaming headset you can get in this price range.
If you're looking for a budget gaming headset below 50$, get the Corsair HS60. They do not have the more premium design of the HyperX Cloud II, and their mic's recording quality is not as good as some of the other gaming headsets we've tested.
On the upside, the HS60 are a great value at their current price. They offer a sleek and sturdy wired design with a detachable boom mic so you can use these headphones casually outdoors with your phone. They're comfortable with large well-padded ear cups, and they have a well-balanced sound, which makes them suitable for both gaming and critical listening.
The HyperX Stinger are another good budget gaming option with a much better boom mic for in-game chats but their build quality does not look or feel as premium as the Corsair for about the same price.
If you want a more customizable headset, then get the Logitech G430. They do not have the versatile casual design of the slightly more premium Logitech G433 or the Corsair HS60. They also do not have the best build quality and since they are wired, they will not be as convenient for console gamers.
On the upside, they are one of the few wired gaming headsets to have customization options with their software on PC. They do not save the presets since they are completely passive but your PC does recognize the headset when using them via USB. The slight customization options make them a bit more versatile than other headphones at this price range. Unfortunately, their boom mic is not removable, so unlike the HS60 or the Cloud II, they won't be the best headphones to use outdoors. However, for strictly gaming, they're a great value.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for gaming. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.